Oh! My! God! I'll get to the reason for that exclamation in a moment. But first I have to announce that Kiley had her birthday party today, her very first one. Can you believe it? She has completed one full revolution around the sun, one orbit, and the first of many. Since the Earth's orbit is quite large, this means she can be considered quite the traveler, having gone about 584 million miles by the time she was one year old. How many one-year-olds can say that? Well, all of them actually, but I contend that she did it with unusual grace and aplomb. She hardly even worked up a sweat. She gets her stamina from her mother's side of the family, which is, of course, my side.
The party itself was a roaring success with all of the usual birthday party trimmings and too many presents to count. The birthday girl was in her glory and did a fine job of soaking up all of the love, celebrity, and adulation that was tossed so abundantly her way. The presents themselves were a big hit with her, though I must say she derived as much pleasure from tearing off the wrapping paper as she did from the gifts so revealed.
This was the first milestone birthday that she has experienced. Others will follow – becoming a teenager at thirteen, becoming a real teenager at sixteen, becoming an adult at twenty-one, becoming a real adult at thirty, becoming forty, becoming fifty, becoming a retiree at sixty-five. (That's assuming there is still such a thing as retirement sixty-four years from now. There wasn't always such a thing you know.) And perhaps many more birthdays to come after that. Who knows how long people will be living by the time Kiley is an old woman? Who knows what the definition of old will be seventy years from now? They say that the first person to live to be one-hundred-fifty is alive today. I don't know who they are or how that assumption was made but I wouldn't doubt it. People are living longer all the time. Maybe Kiley will some day celebrate her one hundred fiftieth birthday with the same abundance of fun, presents, love, celebrity, and adulation as she did today. I hope so.
Now back to the Oh! My! God! In the midst of the celebration, when the presents had all been unwrapped, the cake had been cut, the birthday girl had been thoroughly idolized, and things were winding down, Kiley's mother, my beloved niece, interrupted the festivities with an announcement. It seems that nature once again has exerted its will, and what happened just one year ago, is going to happen again. That's right; Kiley is going to have a sibling! Her mother is pregnant again! Aaaaaggggghhhhh! The baby is due in August and six weeks or so after that will be accompanying its sister to my domain on a daily basis. That means I will be juggling a helpless, unweaned, peeing, pooping, crying infant and a walking, talking, peeing pooping toddler both at the same time. (Kiley's mother had, of course, filled me in on the news earlier and we had agreed that I would continue in my present function times two once the baby arrived. I know, call me crazy.) To me this is like a flashback to when I cared for Kiley's mother and two sisters when they were little. What an adventure that was! It was over a quarter of a century ago and I still haven't fully recovered. (And I mean that literally. I 'll tell you about it some day.)
So I am soon to be the proud Nan of two adorables and get to help gently guide them both on their journey as they go spinning around the sun together. Remember, that's 584 million miles a year. I feel up to it at the moment, and even excited, but let's face it, putting that many more miles on this old chassis may very well result in some mechanical depreciation. I should take measures to prevent that. You know, gird my loins for the ordeal. If I had known about this before the New Year I would have made a New Year's resolution to eat right, exercise, and generally get myself in shape. Oh well, too late now.